Tehran decries foreign troops presence in Gulf

Iran Defense Minister Vahidi says extra-regional presence in gulf causes "turbulence", announces new military drill.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
January 4, 2012 17:02
1 minute read.
US Navy crew member

US Navy crew member 311 (R). (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi continued Tehran's heated rhetoric against the West on Wednesday, decrying the presence of foreign military forces near the Strait of Hormuz.

"The presence of extra-regional powers in the Persian Gulf is unhelpful and damaging and their presence has no result other than turbulence in the region," he told reporters following a cabinet meeting, according to a Tehran Times report.

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Vahidi added that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is planning on holding another military exercise in the near future, according to Iran's student newspaper ISNA.

Iran recently concluded a ten-day naval drill, during which it test fired two long-range missiles. Iran said that it was using the test to display its resolve in countering any attack by enemies such as Israel or the United States.

The Iranian defense minister's comments followed an Iranian threat Tuesday that the country would "take action" if the US Navy were to move an aircraft carrier into the Gulf. The statement made by Iran's Army chief Ataollah Salehi was Tehran's most aggressive yet after weeks of saber-rattling following new US and EU financial sanctions took a toll on its economy.

Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat

The prospect of sanctions targeting the oil sector in a serious way for the first time has hit Iran's rial currency, which fell by 40 percent against the dollar in the past month. It recovered 20% of its value Wednesday through intervention by Iran's Central Bank.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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